HC Deb 07 April 1914 vol 60 cc1804-6
66. Mr. BOLAND

asked the Chief Secretary whether, with a view to expediting the sale of the Ballinskelligs portion of the estate of Mr. Daniel O'Connell, of Darrynane, the landlord will be requested to furnish the necessary maps and documents; and whether, in view of the fact that there are only eleven tenants on this portion of this estate, of which the total rateable value is only £31, efforts will be made to bring about a speedy purchase?


As I have already informed the hon. Member, the owner is not prepared to negotiate for the sale of the Ballinskelligs section of his estate until the purchase of the lands which he has agreed to sell to the Congested Districts Board is completed. The Board do not, therefore, propose to take further action in the matter at present.


asked the Chief Secretary if he will state in what stage the sale of the Caledon estate, county Tyrone, under the Land Purchase Acts now is: whether any demesne or untenanted land is included in the sale; if so, whether it has been sold to persons occupying uneconomic holdings or landless people, and what information the Estates Commissioners have on this point; and will he further state the area of the demesne or untenanted land so dealt with?


The lands referred to, which were the subject or direct sale proceedings before the Estates Commissioners, have been vested in the purchasers. No demesne lands were included in the property sold, which comprised tenanted lands and some 91 acres of untenanted lands. Sixty-eight acres of this untenanted land was sold by the owner to an evicted tenant, and the remainder to two tenants on the property under the provisions of the Purchase of Land Amendment Act, 1889, and the Purchase of Land (No. 2) Act, 1901. Under the Evicted Tenants Act, 1907, the Commissioners acquired 167 acres of untenanted land on the Caledon estate, and have allotted them to five evicted tenants.


I beg to give the right hon. Gentleman notice that on the Motion for the Adjournment to-morrow I shall call attention to the question of land purchase in Connemara.

70. Mr. O'MALLEY

asked the Chief Secretary whether the Congested Districts Board have yet made an offer for the purchase of the O'Flaherty estate, Ardnasella, Oughterard, and for the O'Flaherty estate, Ballyconneely, near Clifden; and, if not, will he state the cause of the delay in the purchase of those estates, which were valued three years ago?


The Congested Districts Board have made an offer for the estates referred to, and negotiations are proceeding. There has been no avoidable delay in dealing with the matter.


asked the Chief Secretary what is the policy of the Estates Commissioners in cases of direct sales of estates under the Irish Land Purchase Acts when there are parcels of untenanted land or demesne land included in the sale; whether inquiries are made as to whether there are any evicted holdings or uneconomic holdings on such estates which ought to have first consideration in the distribution of such lands; what precautions are adopted to prevent parcels of land being given to persons who are already possessed of large holdings; and whether any special investigation is made in cases where the purchase agreement discloses the fact that the letting of the land to the purchaser is a recent one?


In the case of an estate which is the subject of proceedings before the Estates Commissioners for sale by the landlord direct to the tenants under the Irish Land Acts, 1903–4, where there is any untenanted land or demesne lands included the practice of the Commissioners is to have inquiries made as to any evicted holdings on the property, or holdings which in their opinion should be enlarged. If the Commissioners acquire land in the landlord's occupation they either allot them to persons coming within Section 17 of the Irish Land Act, 1909, or they resell the lands to the vendor under Section 3 of the Act of 1903. Section 17 (2) of the Act of 1909 limits the amount of the advance which can be made to occupiers of holdings for the purchase of parcels of untenanted land. As regards any recently created tenancies due inquiry is instituted, and no advances are made where such tenancies have been created after the date mentioned in Section 16 of the Act of 1909.

73. Mr. FLAVIN

asked the Chief Secretary whether he can state why Mrs. Mary Riordan, Dromin, Listowel, a tenant on the Raymond estate, who signed her purchase agreement and paid interest on the purchase, will not be allowed to complete her purchase the same as the other tenants on the estate; and whether the Estates Commissioners will reconsider her case with a view of allowing her to become a purchaser subject to an annuity under the Land Purchase Act?


The holding referred to comprises some 3 roods, and the Estates Commissioners, after having the plot inspected, did not consider that it afforded security for any advance under the Land Purchase Acts; and, as the tenant could not see her way to pay the purchase money in cash, the purchase agreement was dismissed and the holding was not included in the sale of the estate. The Commissioners cannot see their way to alter their decision in this case not to make an advance.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is a great injustice to many small tenants who cannot produce the money in cash that their farms will not be taken as security?


I cannot help that. If the holdings do not afford security, there is an end of the matter.


The labourer's cottage with a half-acre of land is security, and why not the small holding?


It is a question for the Commissioners entirely whether or not the holding is security. In this case it is not.